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Ukraine

"Small wars are operations undertaken under executive authority, wherein military force is combined with diplomatic pressure in the internal or external affairs of another state whose government is unstable, inadequate, or unsatisfactory for the preservation of life and of such interests as are determined by the foreign policy of our Nation."

Small Wars Manual, 1940

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Journal

by Daniel Rice | Sun, 07/03/2022 - 9:37am | 0 comments
Wars, by their nature, are incredibly complicated.  The war in Ukraine is actually much simpler than most of the wars of the past 75 years. The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Yemen, Vietnam, Bosnia, and many others were very complicated, with a lot of “gray areas.”  Most of these were civil wars, with warring factions, sectarian violence, and competing internal ideologies.  The war in Ukraine is much simpler.  It is more 'black and white' than all the other wars since World War II.  It is “good vs evil”.  It is one horrible Army invading a sovereign neighbor and committed atrocities on an industrial scale against an entire civilian population.  It is the world vs. Russia. And it is why NATO was formed in 1949, to counter Russia. 
by Tom Johansmeyer | Sat, 07/02/2022 - 8:33pm | 0 comments
It’s time to give deterrence a break. We’ve made the concept carry us through the Cold War and another thirty years after that in the face of bipolar nuclear threats. After almost 80 years, we’ve seen what deterrence can do – and what it can’t. Despite the salient effort to make deterrence work for cyber, it’s clear that we’re faced with a “square peg/round hole” problem. Deterrence doesn’t fit for cyber, and no amount of forcing will change it.
by Richard M. Crowell | Sat, 07/02/2022 - 1:32pm | 0 comments
Understanding China’s twenty-first century global actions in search of wider power requires knowledge of their perspective on competition and conflict. That lens is one which sees guerilla warfare and information power used to invade social order to change the existing order in favor of China. This article highlights China’s domestic and global activities in pursuit of their desired new world order. It describes China’s ability to control access to information communication technologies (ICT) and information content, which enables control of its people and others. Three main lessons are identified. First, democratic governments and free-market societies that view power and competition through the same lens will be best suited to successfully compete. Second, nations electing to use Chinese affiliated ICT are at risk of having all aspects of their social order exposed to China’s information power. Third, should competitors not decide in favor of Beijing, China will be prepared to employ new forms of control that will take advantage of the interconnected world they have built and happen in ways that many have failed to imagine.
by Zachary Kallenborn , by Gary Ackerman, by Philipp C. Bleek | Thu, 06/30/2022 - 11:10pm | 0 comments
This brief article looks at the threat potentials related to multi-drone swarms. Multi-drone terrorism represents an emerging terrorism threat, with a range of potential consequences including, at the high end, mass casualties. Although terrorists could quite easily acquire numerous drones, they face considerable challenges in obtaining and deploying the technology to control multiple drones at once. This is especially true for drone swarms in which multiple drones are integrated into a single weapon platform with inter-drone communication. The real difficulties involved with mounting a truly massive drone attack means that policy-makers must plan for a broad range of threats, and carefully balance the costs of defense systems against risks posed to particular targets.[
by Tony Waters | Thu, 06/30/2022 - 12:33pm | 0 comments
         I started this essay as a review about two recent books, Robert Kaplan’s (2021), The Good American: The Epic Life of Bob Gersony, the U.S. Government's Greatest Humanitarian, and Scott Anderson (2020), The Quiet Americans: Four CIA spies at the dawn of the Cold War—A Tragedy in Three parts.  When I first picked the books up, I expected irony, and perhaps satire, just like two novels published in the 1950s which had roughly the same titles: The Quiet American by Graham Greene, and The Ugly American by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer.  Both of these earlier books anticipated the catastrophes emerging from America’s diplomatic-military complex, first in first Vietnam (1975), and later in Afghanistan (2021). Both 1950s novels are savage satires of American naivete.  The basic critique of both older books is that the flawed assumptions of American exceptionalism is doomed to fail wherever it is tried.
by Neil Bultman | Thu, 06/30/2022 - 10:39am | 0 comments
The conflict in Ukraine could be a catalyst for reducing tensions between Turkey, NATO, and the EU in the Eastern Mediterranean. As Russian President Vladimir Putin displays the full range of his aggression and violence in Ukraine, Ankara may be ready to cooperate more fully with her NATO allies and EU partners as Russia becomes a more unstable actor and partner in the region. While certain economic realities may restrain the options available to Turkey, there may be no better time for NATO and the EU to convince Turkey that prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean is best made with the West, provided NATO and the EU make it worth the while for Turkey.
by Jeremiah Shenefield | Wed, 06/29/2022 - 8:08pm | 0 comments
The role of any foreign policy, regardless of political leanings, should always focus first on the preservation of the national security of the United States. The central sticking points for politicians, government bureaucrats, and planners are what topics rise to the level of national security concerns? Policymakers have claimed national security extends to international terrorism threats, climate change, or ensuring lasting global democracy in the face of authoritarianism. While all reasonable, a common policy concern/goal is the pursuit of economic prosperity and the continued status of the U.S. as the global economic leader. Economies are broad, touch every aspect of society, politics, and foreign policy, especially in Washington. The driver of global economy and commerce is energy; either solar, wind, fossils fuels, commerce, and by extension, world economies grind to a haul without it. Outside regional terrorism and proxy/sectarian wars, energy is the reason Iran is still relevant in U.S. foreign policy circles. Policy effects regarding the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) must weigh risks to global shipping commerce, threats to gulf allies (themselves involved in energy exports and affairs), the proliferation of weapons and destabilizing governments, and the wider role energy plays in the newest global power struggle between the U.S. and China.
by Chuck de Caro | Tue, 06/28/2022 - 10:55am | 1 comment
The current state of the Ukraine-Russian war has fallen into a see-saw struggle for small territorial gains, much like the War in Korea in 1952-53. While the Ukrainians are now beefing up their capability for offensive naval operations in the Black Sea, as recommended in these pages months ago, those actions against the vulnerable Russian littoral left flank have yet to occur. With those naval operations presumably soon at hand, the Ukrainians might be well advised to begin attacking the Russian war effort’s other great vulnerability:  Logistics.   Specifically, the Russian Rail System, and the command and control structure of the Russian Army’s Material Technical Support Brigades.
by Frederick M. Shepherd | Mon, 06/27/2022 - 4:49pm | 0 comments
Transnational drug networks have posed a fundamental challenge to the political systems of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras in the 21st century. These “Northern Triangle” nations of Central America were among the most violent in the world in the early 2010s, and their governments have struggled to exert even the most basic kinds of political authority as they have been caught up in the global drug trade. This article analyzes how these conditions came about, their impact on these nations, and how vulnerable national governments have responded in recent years to the challenges posed by transnational drug networks. It does so in the context of the capacity of Northern Triangle governments to confront the power of transnational drug networks, with reference to the concept of “state infrastructural capacity.” The article employs this concept to describe the drug networks’ usurpation of basic national government functions in recent decades. And it assesses recent attempts by these national governments, often in collaboration with outside forces, to cope with and challenge the power of transnational drug networks in this same theoretical context. The larger conclusion points to shocking cases of transnational drug network power, but also significant and unexpected efforts by seemingly powerless national governments to counter it.
by James Rohrer | Wed, 06/22/2022 - 8:10pm | 0 comments
Examples of wargaming at the tactical level are scarce in the military literature and army manuals (Hodge, 2012).  Courses of action are tested at the strategic and operational level using a paradigm based on a three-legged stool for “What If” analysis: computer simulation, experimentation, and wargaming.  The legs of the stool represent different approaches to What If analysis that are useful in different situations.  Unfortunately, this paradigm might become limiting as the legs turn into silos. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that tactical wargaming is feasible by crossing the barriers between simulation, wargaming and experimentation.  Fair warning: this demonstration involves dice despite objections to their use in military wargaming.  

Blog Posts

by Dave Maxwell | Sun, 07/03/2022 - 12:26pm | 0 comments

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by SWJ Editors | Tue, 06/21/2022 - 10:14pm | 0 comments

Embassy of Ukraine in the USA

by Dave Maxwell | Tue, 06/21/2022 - 8:56am | 0 comments

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